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Teaching Methods and Furniture Design Evolve

Sponsored content by COMPUTER COMFORTS, INC.

Learning environments have been changing dramatically over the past decade, driven by a shift in the traditional instructor-led teaching model. The days of having an instructor stand in front of a group of students lecturing for an hour are fading away. Many innovative teaching methods have been created to make the learning experience more interactive.

Flip teaching (or flipped classroom) is a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class with faculty offering more personalized guidance to and interaction with students, instead of lecturing.

The SCALE-UP method is similar (student centered active learning environment — upside-down pedagogy). Although that is a mouthful, the concept is really very simple. Groups of students are given projects to investigate. While they work in teams, the instructor is free to roam the room and help teams work together. The students become the teachers (upside-down pedagogy).

Despite the fancy acronyms, most of these emerging teaching methods have a common denominator. They all incorporate a team or collaborative approach. Computer Comforts, Inc. (aka CCI) has evolved from a company manufacturing computer lab tables 26 years ago to a provider of furniture solutions for ALL active learning environments. As illustrated in the picture above, our team tables and mobile Active Learning Tables were designed specifically for these flexible spaces. We have collaborated with technology companies to provide switching and power solutions (Extron, Crestron, etc.). Our Active Learning Cluster was designed with the help of North Carolina State University, who originally created the SCALE-UP model.

Please visit our website for additional information at www.computercomforts.com.

This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of College Planning & Management.

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